Microsoft has announced retail pricing for Windows 7 that includes an option to preorder the operating system at a substantial discount.
From today through July 11, U.S. consumers can preorder an upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7 Home premium for $49 or Windows 7 Professional for $99. However, XP customers must do a clean installation of Windows 7.
Also starting today, buyers of new PCs with Vista installed will receive a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it becomes available.
Retail boxed copies of Windows 7 go on sale October 22. Microsoft plans to charge $119 for Home Premium, $199 for Professional, and $219 for Ultimate.
In Europe, the EU’s anti-trust ruling has forced Microsoft to ship a special “E” version with the Internet Explorer web browser removed. Therefore, the European launch will be delayed, and all users must perform a clean installation, even if purchasing an upgrade.
Early reviews are generally positive and indicate that Windows 7 is much better behaved than Vista was when it was first released.